(Exclusive interview).- Eduardo Aching, Vice President, International Gaming Operations at Konami Gaming Inc, talked to Focus Gaming News about G2E 2019.
One of the most important events of the gambling industry will take place next week at the Sands Expo in Las Vegas. G2E 2019 is ready to kick off and the biggest companies of the industry will showcase their products at the event.
Eduardo Aching, Vice President, International Gaming Operations at Konami Gaming Inc, talked to Focus Gaming News in an exclusive interview about G2E 2019, as well as the company’s plans for it and the rest of the year.
You’ve recently said that your role as a leading casino games developer is to support the industry with fresh gaming options to engage those audiences in new ways. The US is currently in a period in which it is expanding both its online gaming and sports betting markets. How does Konami perceive that change? In what ways can you benefit from the growth of those industries?
We have participated in the online gaming space for some time and we continue to deliver fresh content for players to enjoy through those platforms. As technology evolves, there are shifts in consumer entertainment preferences. It is important to the future of the industry that we anticipate and respond to these changes, in ways that are measured, responsible, and engaging.
Two unique Konami slot cabinets ranked among the industry’s most innovative products of the year at the Casino Journal’s Annual Top 20 Most Innovative Gaming Technology Awards. The KX 43 video slot cabinet, big-screen Opus cabinet, and SYNK Vision™ biometric player tracking solution have all proven to be leading products of the industry, but the fact that they’re established does not make them slow down their progress. How do you keep their momentum going?
For gaming entertainment, quality game content is central to ensuring continued success. Launch titles including Treasure Ball, Solstice Celebration Triple Sparkle, and Riches with Daikoku Triple Sparkle have established strong early results for KX 43 and Opus. At G2E 2019, Konami is building further upon that momentum with series such as Ba Fang Jin Bao, Fortune Mint, Chili Chili Fire Boosted Wins & Wilds, and Dragon’s Law SeleXion.
As technology evolves, there are shifts in consumer entertainment preferences.
In terms of systems technology, Konami is always seeking out opportunities to bring fresh advancements to the industry. Our SYNKROS team is continually exploring emerging innovations, researching parallels in other industries, and engaging with casino customers and stakeholders to help drive the gaming sector forward.
Do you think basing your new products in the proven success of previous ones is a good way to create something prosperous? Or do you believe that in order to be successful you need to start each product from scratch?
Over the years we have observed a need for both recognizable brand extensions and entirely new titles. Brand extensions allow players to enjoy their favourite game mechanics and characters with a new twist. For example, Mayan Chief Great Stacks is a popular brand extension for Stack and Crescent, and gives players the anticipation on the obscured Action Stacked Symbols, in a tall 6-by-5 reel layout instead of the traditional 3-by-5 reel. Dragon’s Law SeleXion on KX 43 and Opus is another example. This series showcases a pair of progressive jackpot games, each led by the familiar long-tailed dragon first shown on Konami’s Podium cabinet.
At the same time, there is an appetite for entirely new concepts. Treasure Ball, for example, is an entirely original Konami linked game that has demonstrated popularity with players. It has a unique attraction where the game’s hero dragon character flies across all connected screens and it really provides a new type of excitement for players.
The introduction of SYNKROS a few years ago revolutionized the casino industry, and while it has been nearly fifteen years from its launch, it seems as it’s still a product that allows you to keep expanding your brand. Why do you think that, after all this time, SYNKROS is still —if not more— successful than when it was introduced to the world?
Early on, Konami focused on engineering its fundamental systems infrastructure with an agile single-database and software code-base environment. In addition to giving our SYNKROS properties the advantage of 99.9% uptime, this provided a robust foundation for continued advancements. As time went on, Konami has been able to develop further key competitive products to help differentiate our offering and deliver competitive benefits to the SYNKROS properties we serve.
What does the rest of 2019 have in store for Konami?
Through the remainder of 2019, we are anticipating continued international expansion for Konami’s big-screen Opus cabinet, as well as the new KX 43. Both offer a variety of high-performing jackpot games, with proven math and stunning 4K Ultra high-definition.
Konami has been able to develop further key competitive products to help differentiate our offering and deliver competitive benefits to the SYNKROS properties we serve.
What are your plans for the fiscal 2019-20 and full 2020?
Konami’s key long-term objectives include delivering enduring business value to our casino customers through differentiated service, technology, and entertainment.